A tumultuous week

on .

One of the best films ever made is Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas. At its denouement, the character played by Joe Pesci is having the best day of his life as he is taken to be sworn in as a full member of the mafia. In the precise moment of his triumph he realises a split second before it happens that he is actually being assassinated. This scene came to mind as I saw Boris Johnson make an exit from the leadership race after his friend for 30 years and his campaign manager, Michael Gove, announced that he would be standing against him. Please don't take this analogy too far. Comparisons between the Conservative Party and the Cosa Nostra are not to be inferred. However hard fought the leadership campaign gets, no one will end up “sleeping with the fishes”. Beds will remain free of horses’ heads. But politics can be brutal.

How to describe Parliament last week? Across the two main parties power shifts were underway. The Prime Minister returned from what must have been a sad and awkward European Council looking somehow younger. His statement to the House was filled with humour and he seemed unburdened. Around the building I saw Labour MPs in tears as they faced recriminations from Corbyn supporters following the mass resignations from his team. Among Conservative colleagues cabals of MPs were meeting. The next door office to mine seems to have become something of a hub for one candidate and the one across the corridor for another. One journalist was claiming battle fatigue having covered the election, the Labour leadership election, the referendum and now all this. Bless!

I took my time to talk to candidates and after a meeting with Theresa May I decided that she is the one I will support. She has run a very difficult department and has done it well. To me she would bring a calm authority to Government and would be a formidable negotiator in the difficult process we now face of extricating ourselves from the EU. A tumultuous week in politics and I predict more to come. I’m all for politics being interesting but a dull week wouldn’t come amiss.

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Richard Benyon was re-elected as the Member of Parliament for Newbury on 7 May 2015, with an increased majority of 26,368. Richard won 61 per cent of the vote share.



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